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Fix “you don’t have appropriate permission to perform this operation” in Outlook

Charanjeet Kaur  | Updated on September 15, 2020 | Outlook PST File   | No Comments   | 5 min read

Summary: This post discusses about the “you don’t have appropriate permission to perform this operation” Outlook error. It outlines user instances reporting about this error, reasons behind it, and workarounds to fix the error.

When performing some action in Outlook, you may encounter “you don’t have appropriate permission to perform this operation” error. These actions include:

  • Opening an Outlook data file (PST) or moving data to the file
  • Attaching a document from a shared drive
  • Trying to delete emails
  • Sending or receiving emails

Here are some user instances reporting about this error:

Instance 1: “I am trying to set up Outlook 2019 on a new computer and it is working fine other than the items in the Inbox folder cannot be deleted. When trying to delete the message, an error pops up saying “You don’t have appropriate permission to perform this operation”.

Instance 2: “I recently issued a new laptop to a user. No changes to how we do that, and no changes on the network that would restrict access to attaching documents from a shared drive. But the user, when trying to attach a document to an email, receives this error message: You don’t have permission to perform this operation in Outlook 2010.

Instance 3: “Our Company is running Lotus Notes and recently I installed MS Outlook interface and it worked well for about two days. Now, I am receiving an error message “Microsoft Office Outlook: You don’t have appropriate permission to perform this operation”. This happens when I try sending or replying to emails. I have full access (Admin) on my machine (Win XP). Any ideas on where to start troubleshooting so that all my emails come in to Outlook fine.”

What Causes the “You don’t have appropriate permission to perform this operation” error?

This error is most likely to occur if the permissions are not set up correctly while upgrading Windows OS or Outlook installation.

Workarounds to Fix the Error

Following are some workarounds you can try to resolve the issue:

Workaround 1 – Run Outlook as Administrator

Note: Skip this method if you are running Outlook as administrator and try the next workaround.

  1. Exit your Outlook application.
  2. Type ‘Outlook.exe’ in the Windows search field.
outlook.exe
  • Right-click Outlook.exe option, and select Run as Administrator.
run outlook.exe as administrator

Note: If you cannot find the “Run as administrator” option, press “Ctrl + Shift + Alt” keys together and right click it and the option will be visible.

If the error persists, proceed with the next workaround.

Workaround 2 – Change ‘PSTDisableGrow’ Registry Key Value

Several Outlook users were able to fix the error by changing the ‘PSTDisableGrow’ registry key value from ‘1’ to ‘0’. Here’s how you can do so:

  1. Open the Run window by clicking ‘Windows+R’ keys together, and then type regedit.
  2. The Registry Editor window gets displayed.
  3. Locate the ‘PSTDisableGrow’ registry key by browsing to the following location:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\xx.0\Outlook\PST. 

Note: Replace xx.0 with the Outlook version that you’re using. For example, Change xx.0 to 19.0 for Outlook version 2019, 16.0 for Outlook 2016 and Office 365, 15.0 for Outlook 2013, 14.0 for Outlook 2010 and 12.0 for Outlook 2007.

  • Right-click ‘PSTDisableGrow’, and click Edit.
  • In the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value box, replace the Value data 1 to 0, and then click OK.
editing PSTDisableGrow registry value

Caution: Be careful while editing the registry value, as it can have serious implications.

Workaround 3 – Change PST File Properties

Make sure that the Read-only attribute is unchecked in the PST file. If not, uncheck it and see if it fixes the problem. For this, do the following:

  1. Browse the location where the Outlook PST file is saved.

If you don’t know the PST file location, read this: Where do I find my Outlook PST file on Windows PC?

  • Right-click the Outlook data file (.pst), and then select Properties.
  • Click Attributes, uncheck the Read-only checkbox, and then click OK.

Now check if the error is fixed. If not, try modifying the PST file permissions. To do so, perform the following:

  1. Right-click on the PST file again, and select Properties.
  2. In the window that pops up, click the Security tab, and then click Edit.
  3. Select your user account.
  4. Check the Full control checkbox, click Apply,and then press the OK button.
pst file permissions

Once the changes are applied, restart your Outlook application and check if the error is fixed.

What If Nothing Works?

Most of the Outlook errors are attributed to problems in PST file. So, if none of the above workaround helps fix the error, repairing the PST file may help.

Use the Outlook built-in Inbox Repair Tool (also referred to as ScanPST.exe) to repair the Outlook data file (.pst). Be wary, though, the built-in repair utility may fail to repair corrupt PST file in the following circumstances:

  • PST file is large or severely damaged (corrupted)
  • Unexpected errors crop up in Outlook that ScanPST.exe cannot fix

Also, you may have to run the ScanPST.exe utility several times to fully repair the Outlook data file. If the utility fails to fix corrupted PST file, choose an alternative to ScanPST.exe. Stellar Repair for Outlook software is the best ScanPST.exe alternative to repair corrupt PST file and recover its data. The software can parse severely corrupted PST file of any size and recovers all mailbox data, including deleted emails in a quick and precise manner.

Check out this video for more information:

Conclusion

If you have encountered “you don’t have permission to perform this operation” error in Outlook, following the workarounds discussed in this post will help you fix the error. But, if it is not fixed, there might be some issue with the Outlook data file (.pst). You can try repairing the PST file by using ScanPST.exe. However, this tool has certain limitations. It might fail to repair severely damaged, or large-sized PST file. A better alternative is to use a specialized PST repair tool such as Stellar Repair for Outlook. The software can efficiently repair the corrupt Outlook PST file with all the data intact.

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